Health Highlights: Aug. 30, 201008/30/10
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of
Ground Beef Recalled Due to E. coli: USDA
Concerns about possible E. coli contamination have led to the
recall of about 8,500 pounds of ground beef distributed by
Pennsylvania-based Cargill Meat Solutions, says the U.S. Department
The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service said that three
instances of illness in New York and Maine have been linked to the
recalled ground beef, the
Washington Post reported.
The beef was shipped in in cases of 14-pound packages to
distribution centers in Connecticut and Maryland for further
distribution in smaller packages for consumers sales under
different retail brand names, said the service.
Officials said the recalled ground beef has a product code of
W69032 and carries the establishment number EST. 9400 inside the
USDA mark of inspection. The ground beef was produced on June 11
and comes in packages with a use-by/freeze-by date of July 1, the
The ground beef should be eaten only if it has been cooked to
160 degrees Fahrenheit, the Food Safety and Inspection Service
advised. The only way to confirm that temperature is to use a food
thermometer that measures internal temperature.
New Test Helps Determines Need For Cesarean
A new test to identify expectant mothers who will need a
cesarean section is being introduced in a number of European
The test is based on research findings that women with high
levels of lactic acid in the amniotic fluid are unlikely to deliver
BBC News reported.
Like other muscles, the uterus produces lactic acid when it
works hard during labor. When it reaches a certain level, lactic
acid starts to inhibit contractions.
By measuring levels of lactic acid in the amniotic fluid,
doctors could determine earlier when it's time to end a difficult
labor and proceed with a cesarean,
BBC News reported.
The test is a "nice idea," according to Professor Donald
Peebles, a spokesman for the Royal College of Obstetricians and
Gynecologists in the U.K.
"I can definitely see the logic, and it would be straightforward to carry out. I would be interested in seeing a large prospective study where you could see the impact it had on the management of labor and whether overall outcomes were improved," he told BBC News.
Appeals Court Rejects Vaccine Link to Autism
A U.S. federal appeals court has upheld last year's decision by
a special vaccine court that vaccines do not cause autism.
The case involved Michelle Cedillo of Yuma, Ariz. who has
autism, inflammatory bowel disease and other disorders. Her parents
insisted their daughter's health problems were caused by a measles
vaccine given at 15 months, the
Associated Press reported.
They appealed the 2009 ruling by Special Master Denise Vowell,
who said that the evidence of a vaccine-autism link "is weak,
contradictory and unpersuasive."
In its ruling Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals wrote "we have
carefully reviewed the decision of the special master and we find
that it is rationally supported by the evidence, well-articulated,
and reasonable. We, therefore, affirm the denial of the Cedillos'
petition for compensation," the
Even though scientists long ago concluded there's no evidence
that vaccine causes autism, more than 5,500 families sought
compensation through the U.S. government's Vaccine Injury
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